First came designer jeans in the 1970s, then designer food in the 80s, turning the mundane into the must-have.
The next logical step, Paco Rabanne says, is the designer condominium.
"Everyone always looks for something different," said Rabanne, the fashion designer, who plans to fill the need with Maison Paco Rabanne on Collins Avenue here, complete with central air-conditioning.
Like a pair of Calvins, the high-rise will have a label: a one-story-high Paco Rabanne logo at the apex of the 23-story building.
For the designer who already licenses about 170 products under his name, the move from couture to condos was natural, Rabanne said in a telephone interview from his office in Paris.
"Architecture is a work of art," he said, and as a youth he trained in the field. "For me the transition is very easy."
For the real estate developers who made the deal with Rabanne, the decision to place the designer's signature on a building was easy, too.
"Usually it is women who decide where to live, and women like names," said Ruy Franca, the president of Edel International Developers Ltd. "That's a problem of vanity."
Vanity, however, is no problem for the developers, who plan to follow Maison Paco Rabanne with two more designer-condo projects in the Miami area. The next will bear the name of the designer Ted Lapidus, Franca said. For the third, the company is negotiating with two other designers, he added.
Maison Paco Rabanne is the designer's fifth project with Edel. His other buildings are in Brazil, where Edel is based and where the company has also built apartments with Guy Laroche and Andre Courreges.
"Identity marketing is very in vogue right now," said Cynthia Cohen Turk, president of Marketplace 2000, marketing consultants based in Coral Gables and in New York.
"The question is, how much can a name rub off on an apartment building?"
While Rabanne is not the architect (Moshe Cosicher of Miami Beach is), his involvement has entailed more than just granting the use of his name. Robert E. Legault, the executive vice president of Edel, said Rabanne's creative process went something like this: "He said: "Miami. What is Miami? Miami is pink."' And the exterior's salmon hue was born.
"I changed some things that weren't to my liking," Rabanne said, and he gave the final approval on designs.
The groundbreaking is set for the beginning of March, but the developers say they have already sold 100 of the 124 condos, which are priced from $150,000 to $475,000.
Elionora Mijne, who recently moved to Miami Beach from Costa Rica, bought her two-bedroom condo on the 14th floor for $196,000 after reading the glossy brochure with its photos of the Eiffel Tower and a runway model wearing a chain-mail dress.
Although happy to have bought the Paco Rabanne label, Ms. Mijne said she first had to be convinced the product was good, "because sometimes it's just a name."